Cassia Blossom

[ . BACK to Worldkigo TOP . ]

Cassia blossoms

***** Location: Kenya, India, Tropics
***** Season: Hot dry season
***** Category: Plant


An easily recognised genus of over 500 species, most of which contain a laxative chemical in the leaves or fruit pulp. Cassia senna, a shrub found from Egypt to India, is the main source of the well-known medicine of that name.

A number of exotic and indigenous tree species are widespread in Kenya, preferring open, sunny positions and well-drained soil. All have cylindrical pods and flowers with 5 petals and up to 10 stamens, often unequal in size.

Cassia spectabilis (Family : Caesalpiniaceae)
A rounded, deciduous trees to 10 m, bearing showy clusters of yellow flowers, widely planted up to 2,000 m and very common around Nairobi.

Bark : smooth, grey with horizontal markings; rougher with age.
Leaves : compound, up to 40 cm in length, with 4 to 15 pairs of leaflets, each up to 7.5 cm; leaflets narrowly elliptic, tapering to the apex, usually softly hairy below. Leaves are shed entirely, leaving the tree bare for many months.
Flowers : bright golden yellow, in erect pyramid-shaped spikes 30 cm or more in length.
Fruit : up to 30 cm long, cylindrical or flattened, honeycombed into horizontal seed chambers, persistent, turning from green to black.

Practical notes : quick-growing, flourishing even in poor or black-cotton soil, but not at its best if the site is too dry. Spectacular in flower and deservedly popular; widely obtainable from nurseries.
-- Trees of Kenya, Tim Noad and Ann Birnie, 1989.

Cassia spectabilis

Photos: Isabelle Prondzynski


This fast-growing, smallish, deciduous tree originates from tropical America and reaches a height of about 30 ft (10 m). Its rounded and somewhat spreading outline bears large, handsome and erect terminal spikes of bright yellow blossoms and is a magnificent sight when in bloom. It is a prominent sight in and around Nairobi.

-- The beautiful plants of Kenya, John Karmali, 1988.


Have a look at this beautiful picture of the Presidential Way in Lilingwe, Malawi, lined with flowering cassia spectabilis :

Caesalpinia gilliesii (Bird of Paradise Flower)

CLICK for more photos

Shrubs growing in abandoned field near Mafikeng (Northwest, South Africa).
This species originates from Argentina and Uruguay.

Worldwide use

The cassia originates in Latin America :

In Australia, a yellow flowering cassia shrub is a kigo for autumn :

Cassia siamea growing in Hawaii :



Amaltaas blossoms
Hindi: bendra lathi (or bandarlauri), dhanbaher (or dhanbohar), girimaloah
Hindi and Urdu: amaltās (अमलतास)
Marathi: bahava (बहावा)
Malayalam: kanikkonna (or kani konna : Kerala), Vishu konna
Meitei (Manipuri): chahui
Nepali: amaltash, rajbriksya
Sanskrit: aragvadha, chaturangula, kritamala, suvarnaka
Sinhalese: aehaela-gaha (or ahalla-gass), ekela
Tamil: konrai (கொன்ற)
kigo for summer

The Golden Shower Tree (pruging cassia) (Cassia fistula) is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae, native to southern Asia, from southern Pakistan east through India to Myanmar and south to Sri Lanka.

In Ayurvedic medicine, Golden Shower Tree is known as aragvadha ("disease killer"). Its fruitpulp is used as mild laxative, against fevers, arthritis, vatavyadhi (nervous system diseases), all kinds of rakta-pitta (bleeding, such as hematemesis or hemorrhages), as well as cardiac conditions and stomach problems such as acid reflux. The root is considered a very strong purgative, and self-medication or any use without medical supervision is strongly advised against in Ayurvedic texts.

The Golden Shower Tree was named Cassia fistula by Carl Linnaeus. The name was erroneously used by John Patrick Micklethwait Brenan for the Kenyan Shower Cassia, correctly known as C. afrofistula. Similarly, Francisco Manuel Blanco misapplied Linnaeus's name to the Apple-blossom Cassia subspecies C. javanica ssp. javanica.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

CLICK for more photos

the amaltaas
blooms bright yellow in the sun--
green leaves go hiding

hot wind all day--
golden chains of amaltaas
blowing away

Sunil Uniyal, India, May 2008


Amaltaas In Punjabi: ਅਮਲਤਾਸ
In Hindi: अमलतास

walking under
the canopy of amaltaas --
a sudden shower

Sandip Sital Chauhan


"Drumstick tree"
This name is also used for the golden shower tree (Cassia fistulosa).

Moringa oleifera (synonym: Moringa pterygosperma)
is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Moringa, which is the only genus in the family Moringaceae. English common names include moringa, benzolive tree, and West Indian ben. It is also known as drumstick tree, from the appearance of the long, slender, triangular seed pods, horseradish tree, from the taste of the roots which resembles horseradish, or ben oil tree, from the oil derived from the seeds.

The tree itself is rather slender, with drooping branches that grow to approximately 10m in height. In cultivation, it is often cut back annually to 1-2 metres and allowed to regrow so the pods and leaves remain within arm's reach.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

light drizzle -
beneath the drumstick tree
i imitate the koel

- Shared by Rosie Mann, Punjab -
Joys of Japan, 2012


Things found on the way

Senna is a powerful cathartic used in the treatment of constipation, working through a stimulation of intestinal peristalsis.
Official Latin Name: Cassia angustifolia


cassia blossom --
walking to the market
full of light

market stalls
laden with fruit
cassia with bloom

half moon and sun
both in Nairobi skies
its cassia flowers

Isabelle Prondzynski


hot season--
a cassia tree trunk peels off
the old bark

Barrack Elung'ata
February 2011

Related words

***** Cassia, nanban saikachi (ナンバン サイカチ) Japan
It only grows in limited warm areas of Okinawa.


[ . BACK to Worldkigo TOP . ]

No comments: